Understanding the Different Types of Manufactured Stone

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Fieldstone patioHomeowners have many options when adding stone and a good option is using a faux stone, commonly referred to as manufactured stone. One good reason to use manufactured stone is cost-savings. The reasonable cost has helped it to become increasingly popular in both interior and exterior applications. Another good reason is the number of different types to choose from. But having a wide selection when building or renovating your home or business can be a difficult decision. Do you want to install stonewall, dry stack, stacked stone, riverrock, fieldstone, or another type?

If you are thinking of using manufactured stone and are stuck on the type, a good place to start is deciding on the shape. There are three main popular types that are based on the general stone’s shape:

  • Ledgestones are broken, symmetrical, and tight-fitting stones with a wide range of sizes and colors. The stones are stacked together using a mortar, cement, and sand mixture. They are generally short and wide with flat-cut sides and a jagged front for a rustic appearance. When selecting ledgestones in your architecture, they are mostly used on residential home facades or interior fireplaces, and can also be used in landscaping wall applications.
  • Fieldstone is a gathered material and this stone material is typically left in its natural state. They are random-sized stones that have the appearance of being unearthed and stacked. The irregular shapes provide a much different rustic beauty compared to ledgestones. They work well in a variety of settings from interior fireplaces to home facades to landscaping.
  • Riverrock are shaped using smoother, oblong river rocks, or cobblestones. They can show depth when used in architecture. The stones are suited for rough borders, pond and stream beds, or wall construction.

The shape of the rock has a lot to do with creating the appearance you are aiming for. If you are looking for a chiseled and stacked look, ledgestones are a good choice. If you want more random stacking with a smoother look, fieldstones are a good choice. Riverrocks work well when you want a slight uniformity in size, depth, and a smooth surface.

When considering the shape of manufactured stone, think about how it will match with your style. Native American Indians used the ledgestone style for construction of buildings and walls along cliff edges and ledges where the stones were sourced. The fieldstone style has historically been popular in agricultural areas because it is associated with the rocks found when plowing the fields in preparation for planting crops. And as you might guess, riverrocks are popular along rivers where the rocks have been tumbled over hundreds of years to become smooth and rounded.

Once you determine your overall shape, your next step is deciding on color and size. Fieldstones come in a multitude of color choices while riverrocks have colorful rocks. Ledgestones are usually in various neutral hues. When decorating, adding in lighter colors can help brighten and open up your space. Darker colors can make your space look smaller and more intimate.

As for the size of the stone, smaller stones and pebble textures look better when you are working in a small area. Whereas, you have more flexibility when using larger or random-sized stones in a larger area. And while ledgestone has softer colors with pinks, beige and grays, its blocky size works best in larger spaces so that it is not overwhelming.

Fieldstone Center has a wide selection of manufactured stone and natural stone for your home project. We can help you find the shape, size, and color that work best in your home. For more information or to see our products, contact us at 770.385.7708.

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